Dear All, I am looking for some help to decipher the information I found on British Concentration Camps of the SA War 1900-1902. Both my Grandfather and Great Grandfather and their families were held in various concentration camps, including Norvals Pont, Uitenhage and Bethulie. For my Grandfather (Willem Johannes van der Merwe - Modderfontein, Fauresmith district), the camp history shows:
Bethulie date of arrival 15 Aug 1901 and date of departure 24 April 1902
Uitenhage date of arrival 26 April 1902 and date of transfer 23 July 1902
Norvals Point date of arrival 23 July 1902
Do you know at which battle he may have been captured that brought him to Bethulie?
Was it common for captives to be transferred from camp to camp. His wife Annie van der Merwe was also held captive in these camps.
In addition to the above there is also a note in the Status section of the form which says:
Type: surrendered: oath of neutrality
Notes: April 1900, Edenburg: July 01 joined Guides
When would he have taken the Oath i.e. when he was caught or at the end of the war?
What could April 1900, Edenburg: July 01 joined Guides mean?
Any info that would shed some light on the above would be highly appreciated.
I wonder if this is him?
If this is him, among 3 van der Merwe "joiners", then the question is: which unit did he join, and is the Guides such a unit? The only colonial unit with Guides in its title is the Natal Guides.
Or the word Guide may just mean Scout - for example in the Orange River Scouts...
or he may have been a guide in a less formal capacity. If he served as a Guide for a short while in July 1901 it explains why the family would have been taken into a camp soon after.
Among many van der Merwe POWs on the WMBR database is this man:
He was captured 1900/07/30 and sent to Cyelon - is he also related?
Finally, there is another possibility linked to Edenburg, if his middle name had been mis-written not as Johannes but as Jacobus, and such errors are very frequent:
The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.
Dear Rob, thank you, I looked at both suggestions and I don't think they match. The WJ van der Merwe I am looking farmed in the Fauresmith district on a farm called Modderfontein which was close to Edenburg.